Dope Docs: Five Tips for Designing Effective Document Templates that will Improve Customer Communications

Although the world is full of graphics programs, not everyone has the skill set of a designer. Even templates – pre-made forms you just drop information into – can be squirrely and annoying to end-users, despite the fact they are supposed to be easy and efficient. Some documents seem to have a life of their own, and make you wonder, “who designed this?!”

When designing your templates, keep in mind a few tricks of the trade to give your end-users fun and functional templates. Select a format most people have seen before. Xpertdoc templates are useful because they are Word .docx documents, which most people are very familiar with. You can include other content such as graphics and tables, insert data fields from external data sources, and basically leverage all of Word’s formatting features.

Read on for some simple but useful tips to keep in mind when designing new templates:

1. Know your audience. This is the first rule of thumb in any communications. Templates are an important tool in customer communications management (CCM). They help improve customer engagement by providing a document workflow that makes sense and integrating automated information such as customer data in order to personalize the communication. The industry you are working in (i.e. financial services, government, insurance, or small to medium business) will also have an impact on your template needs.

2. Think in terms of building blocks. Templates should be modular, allowing you to design in smaller/logical size packets, as appropriate, and add on as more information, or complexity, is required. Starting small and adding on as needed helps to avoid overwhelming end-users with a monster template to maintain that might not look very appealing (and might not get used).

3. Take advantage of integration features to make your templates more powerful and robust. The easiest way to add document assembly capabilities to your internal systems like Microsoft Dynamics is to integrate the Xpertdoc template within your solution. Xpertdoc offers a configurable solution that can provide document output functionality leveraging the information in your systems or within a workflow in a single click of a button. You can configure an Xpertdoc template to connect to your applications and make data available to template execution. This feature can embed repetitive data and pertinent customer information into your templates, saving time and adding customization features.

4. Variety is the spice of life. Templates can be built to include variations. This means you can offer end-users design or layout options and style choices, while sustaining the core functionality and the code base. For example, imagine a user entering information that can be leveraged into different template layouts. By offering end-users a choice, you are giving them an opportunity to tweak the look or content for their customers’ benefit.

5. And finally, a bit of advice on design housekeeping. Use your developer’s instinct to future-proof your design. Make your template easy to maintain and simplify updates. Also, to protect work in progress, be sure to compile, preview and backup documents under development. No one likes to perform tasks twice!

With these tips and tricks, you’ll be on your way to creating templates that are appealing, fun to use, and incorporate customer data. The long-term payoff is end-user reuse and the ability to generate a workflow that enhances customer satisfaction and retention.

To learn more about creating engaging documents and customer communications, follow us on Twitter: @xpertdoc, @David_Squibb

COVID-19 update

The spread of COVID-19 continues to evolve and in this context, we wish to inform you that Xpertdoc is closely monitoring the situation and would like to inform you of the measures taken by our team to support its employees, customers and partners.

We do not foresee any impact on the delivery of our services and want to assure our customers that we are executing our continuity plans in order to ensure that our customers continue to receive our services without jeopardizing the safety and security of our personnel.

In accordance with the recommendations of government authorities, here are some of the measures being taken by Xpertdoc:

Remote work for all employees
Arrangements have already been made and we have requested that all our employees work from home. Our continuity plan includes a full deployment of remote work arrangements to ensure uninterrupted service to our clients and partners.

Hosting and cloud services
We have been assured by our suppliers that there are no known impacts to these services, and we are confident that we are able to effectively manage the delivery of our cloud services to all our customers.

We have cancelled all business travel until further notice for all our employees. If employees have or will travel for personnel reasons, they will be asked to respect the quarantine delay before participating in any business activities.

Events and gatherings
All our events have been postponed or cancelled. Our employees are no longer allowed to participate in any events, seminars or gatherings.

We are committed to providing the best possible service to our customers and partners, to ensure that you can continue digital communications with your own audience. In these critical moments if we can help please do not hesitate to contact us.


The Xpertdoc Team

Mise à jour sur la COVID-19

La propagation de la COVID-19 continue d’évoluer et, dans ce contexte, nous souhaitons vous informer que Xpertdoc suit de près la situation et que notre équipe a pris des mesures pour soutenir ses employé(e)s, clients et partenaires.

Nous ne prévoyons aucun impact sur la prestation de nos services et voulons assurer nos clients que nous mettons en œuvre notre plan de continuité des affaires, afin de garantir que vous continuiez à recevoir nos services, sans compromettre la santé et la sécurité de notre personnel.

Conformément aux recommandations des autorités gouvernementales du Québec, voici quelques-unes des mesures prises par Xpertdoc :

Travail à distance pour tou(te)s les employé(e)s
Nous avons demandé à tou(te)s nos employé(e)s de travailler à domicile. Notre plan de continuité des affaires comprend des arrangements de travail à distance pour assurer un service ininterrompu à nos clients et partenaires.

Hébergement et services infonuagiques
Nos fournisseurs nous ont assuré qu’il n’y avait pas d’impacts connus sur les services d’hébergement et infonuagiques. Ainsi, nous sommes convaincus d’être en mesure de gérer efficacement la livraison de nos services infonuagiques à tous nos clients.

Nous avons annulé tous nos voyages professionnels jusqu’à nouvel ordre, pour tou(te)s les employé(e)s. Si des employé(e)s ont voyagé ou doivent voyager pour des raisons personnelles, il(elle)s seront placé(e)s en quarantaine pour une durée de 14 jours, avant leur retour au travail.

Événements et rassemblements
Tous nos événements ont été reportés ou annulés. Nos employé(e)s ne sont plus autorisé(e)s à participer à des événements, séminaires ou rassemblements.

Nous nous engageons à fournir le meilleur service possible à nos clients et partenaires, afin de garantir que vous puissiez continuer vos opérations sans interruption. Dans ces moments critiques, nous sommes là pour vous aider. N’hésitez pas à communiquer avec nous si nécessaire.


L’équipe Xpertdoc